Thursday, May 31, 2012

BMX Bandits (1983)

Seen: On our big screen/projector set-up, streamed from netflix instant.

Ok remember how I really didn't like Cocoon? Well I didn't. So that night all I wanted was to watch something that didn't suck, and thankfully BMX Bandits was there for me. Notorious mainly for being Nicole Kidman's earliest movie role (although technically it looks like her other 1983 flick, Bush Christmas, was released a week earlier), the film follows the exploits of three teenage friends- all experts at BMX riding- as they accidentally foil the plot of some bumbling bank robbers and problems happen. There's also a strange subplot with the cops listening in on what's going on most of the time because the kids' walkie talkies are set to their frequency. Also a romantic triangle. Also a scary graveyard chase. Alsoooooo big hair and synthy music.

So yeah this movie is a pretty fun time. It's totally over the top Australian fluff, and it does a good job of it. The story is ludicrous and poorly structured, the tone is all over the place, and the focus switches from teen love triangle to light-hearted action to serious criminal drama every other scene. It's great. The BMX stuff is legitimately cool and well-staged, and while the acting isn't exceptional I did like the characters and funny dialogue. The villains are very weird but entertaining, especially the two main henchmen who are adorable with their lovers' tiffs as they try to catch these meddling kids.

BMX Bandits is a little bit "so bad it's good" and a little bit "actually this movie rules", with the now-oddball casting of teenage Nicole Kidman as a thrill-seeking biker tomboy just icing on the cake. (Her character really is cool, though, and smarter than you'd think.) At times it gets mired in its own family-friendly limitations but ultimately it's a convoluted action movie that manages to be very enjoyable.

As a movie: 3/5
As entertainment: 4/5

Pair This Movie With: Oh you know, there was a time in the late 80s and early 90s when skateboarding/biking/rollerblading movies were a thing, so any of those. There's Airborne with Seth Green, or Brink! with Eric von Detten, or other things Disney made.

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